New business ideas and opportunities for carrying them out are everywhere. However, this doesn’t mean it is easy – creating, identifying and pursuing these ideas and opportunities takes hard work, persistence and knowledge of where to look and how to make things work. You can find out more about my own history in business innovation by visiting the Ahmed Dahab Medium blog.

There are many methods and resources that budding entrepreneurs can use to discover the business ideas and opportunities that have the potential to result in a successful product, service or company. The PDF attachment has some tips on how to do market research for a new business idea.

Personal Interests

One of the first places many entrepreneurs look for inspiration is themselves. Often, hobbies and interests can lead to great business ideas. Passion is key for the successful entrepreneur, so entering a market that you already feel passionate about places you one step ahead of the game from the word go. Even where hobbies and interests do not translate directly into business ideas, they can influence which direction the new business might go. For example, someone who has a love of travel may want to consider establishing a business in the tourism industry, or a passionate cook might find their niche in the catering sector.

Relevant skills and experience from the workplace will also play a role in determining which markets might be ripe for each budding entrepreneur. Many skills are transferrable, so this doesn’t necessarily mean staying in the same industry. However, building on existing skills is always easier than learning a whole new skillset. Capitalising on existing experience and skills makes good use of resources, particularly in the early stages of a new business.

Franchising

Operating a franchise can be a great way to get a new business off the ground while taking advantage of an established brand and business model. As the business model is already in place, starting a franchise can become profitable more quickly than starting a business from scratch. Franchise owners reap all the benefits of former market research, branding, advertising and other aspects of establishing a business, all of which have already been done. Many entrepreneurs find success by bringing a franchise to a new area that fits in with the target demographic of the brand.

Trade Shows

Trade shows, expos and exhibitions provide invaluable opportunities for networking as well as the chance to find inspiration from others working in similar markets or with similar products. These sorts of events are great for meeting other people in business who can in turn become excellent sources of ideas. Attendance at these events can also help you to start gaining exposure for yourself as an individual entrepreneur and for your particular brand, product or service. Most trade shows and similar events will be advertised online or in local or national newspapers. Information about some of the UK’s biggest trade shows can be found in the embedded infographic.

Customer Demands

Businesses only succeed when they meet a demand within their customer base. Industrial surveys can be a good way to identify gaps in the market and find out valuable information about what customers are looking for. A great deal of important information can also be gleaned by listening and responding to customer complaints. This can include complaints directed at your new business specifically, or complaints relating to similar products or services on the market. By identifying problem areas and providing solutions, new entrepreneurs can often fill a gap in the market that was not previously obvious.

The short video attachment explains how SWOT analysis can also help a new business owner.